Dorothy Parker (2) vs. Simone Biles; Liebling advances

I was surprised to see so little action in the comments yesterday. Sure, Liebling’s an obscure figure—I guess at this point he’d be called a “cult writer,” and I just happen to be part of the cult, fan as I am of mid-twentieth-century magazine writing—but I’d’ve thought Bourdain would’ve aroused more interest. Anyway, the best comment was from Ethan, playing it straight and going for Liebling on the strength of his diversity of interests. Even though coming from the Eaters category, he can talk about lots of other topics; in that way, he’s similar to Steve Martin who broke out entirely from the Magicians category where he was situated. On the other side, the best comment in favor of Bourdain was from Sean, who endorsed the celebrity chef but said he went to one of Bourdain’s real-life talks but “left a little disappointed to hear what in large part amounted a collection of some of the best one-liners of No Reservations.”

For today we have the #2 ranked wit, the star of the Algonquin Round Table—no alcohol jokes in the comments, please—vs. the undisputed GOAT of gymnastics. Two completely different talents, and unfortunately only one can advance to the next round. Who should it be?

Again, the full bracket is here, and here are the rules:

We’re trying to pick the ultimate seminar speaker. I’m not asking for the most popular speaker, or the most relevant, or the best speaker, or the deepest, or even the coolest, but rather some combination of the above.

I’ll decide each day’s winner not based on a popular vote but based on the strength and amusingness of the arguments given by advocates on both sides. So give it your best!


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